The Essential Step-by-Step Moving Checklist and Guide

Once you’ve purchased a new home, start planning for a smooth move. Follow our essential step-by-step moving guide and checklist to help you stay organized during the moving process.

8 Weeks Before Moving

  • Create a floor plan for your new residence.
  • Before your moving estimate, decide which items you’ll pack, and which you’d like the movers to pack. Remember they only insure contents of boxes they pack.
  • Get moving estimates and decide on moving company.
  • Take a photograph or create video log of each room and area. It can be useful for making a family log and useful for insurance purposes, should anything be broken.
  • Remove items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc.
  • Establish The Mavins Group Color Code Gift List (CCGL) for passing personal belongings on to family and friends
    • Assign each person a color that will be associated with items that are being passed on to them. Add a written story that shares the history and importance to you, at the very minimum, who it originally belonged to, details of how it fits into your life, and reason you want them to have this particular item.
    • Place a dot on the bottom/inside of that item to designate who is to receive it.
    • Should you have more names than colors of dots, place permanent marker spots or another smaller specialty sticker on top of each color to further distinguish each dot. Be sure to add this additional specialization to your CCGL page.
  • Start to use up things you can’t move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
  • Contact the Chamber of Commerce or visitor’s and tourism bureaus in your new community for information on your new city.
  • If not already done, create a work list of repairs needed to sell the existing home. Hire contractors and schedule work for after the move.

6 Weeks Before Moving

  • Contact the IRS and/or your accountant for information on moving expenses that may be tax-deductible.
  • Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move: friends, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.
  • Contact all medical professionals who have your records. Request referrals to your new location.
  • Contact financial advisors, lawyers and accountants to obtain copies of personal records. Request referrals for your new location.
  • Obtain a mail subscription to the local paper in your new community to familiarize yourself with local government, community, and social news and activities.
  • Locate all motor vehicle registration and licensing documents.
  • Re inventory and evaluate your possessions. The second review can help add a new perspective to your review. Ask yourself what are your most treasured/used items that you want to continue to surround you? What will elegantly FIT into your new home – not overcrowding so nothing is truly enjoyed. What haven’t you used within the last year?   After choosing what is being gifted, divide along the following categories:
    • Sold to antique/used items stores/flea markets/benefit sales/yard sales
    • Donated to a charitable organization
    • Thrown away!
  • If some of your goods are to be stored, make the necessary arrangements now.

5 Weeks Before Moving

  • Contact utility and related companies:
    • Gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV, waste management for service disconnect/connect at your old and new addresses.
    • Remember to keep phone and utilities connected at your current home throughout moving day.
  • Pack items you won’t need over the next month. Label the outside of box of contents and room it will go to.
  • Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Frequently an additional policy to cover temporary added liability is advised.
  • Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other personal property insurance.
  • Re-tour your house and review decisions of things you decided to take with you. Are there more items that you are not really using or want that would bring joy to a new owner?
  • Price items you plan to sell. Schedule estimates, appraisals, estate, or yard sale.

4 Weeks Before Moving

  • If moving from an apartment, notify landlord and request apartment deposit back.
  • Notify the Post Office and get change-of-address forms. Notify magazines to which you subscribe.
    • Note: fill out a change-of-address form for each person receiving mail at your address.
  • If you have house plants to move, start preparing your plants for the move.
  • Plan for the transfer of pets (or have someone watch them during moving day).
  • Request pet records from veterinarian.

3 Weeks Before Moving

  • Movers can’t take aerosols, flammables, ammunition, or bottled gas. It’s best to use them up or give them away before you move.
    • Contact your city/town for information on hazardous waste disposal.
  • Arrange to have major appliances serviced before you move them.
  • Check and clear tax assessments if the home is owned.
  • Collect important papers-put in a safe place (insurance, will, deeds, stock, etc.).
  • Arrange for closing or transfer of bank accounts and open new accounts in new location. Account for all outstanding deposits and checks.

2 Weeks Before Moving

  • If you’re moving out of or into a building with elevators, contact the building management to schedule use of the elevators.
  • Have your car checked and serviced for the trip. Also, make sure that your automobile is prepared (filled with the necessary antifreeze/coolant, for example) for weather conditions.
  • Arrange to discontinue delivery services.
  • Return library books and other things you’ve borrowed.
  • Collect things you’ve loaned, and items in the dry-cleaners, lay-away, cold storage, safety deposit box, etc.
  • Call your mover to verify details of the move.
  • Give away plants not being moved.
  • Movers cannot remove antennas or satellite dishes. Arrange for 3rd party service.
  • Arrange for cable/satellite TV disconnection.
  • Your local service provider can help you with phone, Internet, cable, or satellite service for your new home, if not provided.

1 Week Before Moving

  • Arrange payment method for moving company and confirm mover arrival, loading, and delivery dates. Have cash on hand for tipping movers.
  • Drain gas and oil from power equipment (lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.).
  • Drain water from all garden hoses.
  • Set aside maps, games, snacks, flashlight, and other items you’ll take in your car.
  • Gather medicines and important papers for the car trip.
  • Keep your Moving File in a safe place to locate phone numbers, moving documents, and home inventory.
  • Prepare specific directions to your new home for your moving company. (Include your itinerary, emergency numbers, etc.).
  • Backup computer files to the cloud or storage device. Label storage device.
  • Start packing suitcases.
  • Pack a local phone book for future reference. Or log local contacts into your contact database.
  • Have major appliances disconnected and prepared for the move (arrange for a third party to provide these services).
  • Pack boxes of personal, bath toiletries, bed linens, kitchen staples, and non-combustible cleaning items that will be needed upon arrival at your new home. (We recommend putting these items in a clear or colored storage container for easy identification.) Have these boxes loaded last or carry with you in your car.
  • Organize, set aside, and label those things that you are leaving or taking with you so that they don’t get loaded on the van in error.
  • Leave anything the movers aren’t packing in place.

1 Day Before Moving

  • Finish packing all suitcases.
  • Defrost (if necessary), clean, and dry refrigerator and chest freezer.
  • Clean ovens and stove.
  • Keep a cooler on hand for a few food items to take in car.
  • Record utility meter readings.
  • Confirm utilities are connected at the new residence.

Moving Day

  • Be on hand all day to answer questions and to sign the Bill of Lading. Read your Bill of Lading for valuation and inventory carefully before you sign it.
  • Keep these—and all related papers in The Mavins Group Master Plan until all charges have been paid and all claims, if any, have been settled.
  • Confirm your delivery date, new address, and the phone number where you can be reached.
  • Make sure glasses, wallet, medicines, car keys, maps, and important items are with you.
  • Make final check of every room and storage area. Make sure windows and doors are locked, keys are transferred, garage door openers are left behind, and lights are out.

If the moving process is daunting to you, please contact us — our expert move managers would love to help!